I’m Black, and I think Richard Spencer Should Speak At The University of Michigan

I’m Black, and I think Richard Spencer Should Speak At The University of Michigan

Before anyone gets too upset with me, let me make one thing clear. I find Richard Spencer to be a vile and disgusting human being, and wholeheartedly disagree with his ideology. However, with all that being said, I think it would be best for the University to allow him to come to campus. What’s more, I don’t think a single person should protest, strike, rally, or take any action that would disrupt the event.

Richard Spencer represents a problem that has plagued this country from its inception, but with a recent shift in our political climate the problem has only been exacerbated. He is a part of one of the worst groups in this country, a group that seeks to intimidate, belittle, and eliminate this country’s minority population. Spencer, and those who buy into his thought process account for one of the single most dangerous mindsets facing this country’s future, but in spite of that we must let him speak on campus.

Despite his efforts to adopt an educated and wise demeanor Richard Spencer is nothing more than a common troll who can’t operate within the grounds of a logical argument, but rather gets by on pure shock value alone. A campus isn’t like a Facebook comments section; the goal isn’t to see who can rile up others, but rather to learn and move forward with the ideas presented to us. Letting Spencer speak in such a place of knowledge isn’t going to legitimize him, as the demented ideas he preaches aren’t based in any legitimate knowledge. If anything, letting him attempt to measure his words up against those who have spoken before him will only highlight just how ludicrous he and those who follow him are. He doesn’t actually benefit from being able to speak in a calm and collected environment such as the University, and Ann Coulter’s attempt to speak at UC Berkeley is proof of this. Many had legitimate concerns about what would occur if Ann Coulter was allowed to preach her hateful ideology, and what ensued was a wave of unrest and violence that only served to get Coulter more airtime, as she used the chaos to inflate the issue to massive proportions. She benefited from the refusal to let her speak, and the campus wide reaction only fed the narrative. Spencer will be no different. He’ll take every opportunity to elevate any drama already present, and use it to further stoke the fire his words may cause. He feeds on the energy that protests cause, and regardless of the intentions we can not allow for Spencer to gain any advantage.

Racism has changed, and the way we should combat it needs to change along with it. Supremacists are trading in their Klansman sheets and hoods for expensive three-piece suits and slicked back hair. While we as a society are generally quick to disavow those grungy looking men parading around wearing swastikas, many are far less willing to quickly write off the younger, cleaner, and overall “smarter” looking ones of the group. These new age racists emit a more laid back aura. They’re a bit sarcastic, they play off their horrendous comments as jokes, not to be taken seriously, and often will try to convince the masses that they simply are proud of their heritage and ancestry. Rather than setting crosses ablaze they instead choose to inflame our emotions, film the reaction, and then laugh at how “triggered” or “out of control” we all are. When faced with a peaceful and well-meaning protest they often point to minor disputes, and draw a false equivalence to delegitimize the purpose of such a protest. Please don’t misunderstand, protest is a valid form of inducing change and making one’s voice heard,  but at a certain point we all must realize that simply being heard isn’t good enough anymore. Now more than ever it’s the content that is going to invoke the change we so desperately need.

So I propose that we let Spencer speak. We let him put his vile thoughts on display for all to see, and we do it without interrupting. We let him have his five seconds of fame, all the while making sure to listen to each and every word, and after he is finished we do what we as a community have done exceedingly well to people such as Spencer, we prove them wrong. We refute each and every point through organized and focused articles, speeches, and displays. We take to news articles, mainstream media, and social media alike, all in an effort to disprove Spencer’s core ideals. We rise above the racists, the ignorant, and the trolls, and show once again that their words are just meaningless noise.

I acknowledge that many will disagree with the position that I have. There has been an increasing push-back against racist ideology, and with it has come a crusade against giving those who preach these ideologies a platform. While I understand that many feel that providing a place to speak “validates” these individuals I could not disagree more. Acknowledging the existence of hate does not normalize hate, but rather calls attention to it. Despite how seemingly obvious it seems, acknowledging the intolerance in our own community is the first step to combating it. We can not continue to pretend that if we keep those with hateful rhetoric to the fringes of society that they will go away. It’s high time we look bigotry in the face, and acknowledge that it’s commonality in our society.

Now more than ever I think we all could use something to rally behind. I don’t think I’m alone when I say it feels like the world is falling apart, and it’s getting increasingly lonely. We are at a tipping point, and those who would like nothing more than to send it over the edge are emerging from the shadows, and how we address them could drastically change the future of this country. So let Spencer speak. Let him shine a bright light on those who seek to oppress minorities in this country. Let him expand upon all his twisted thoughts and ideals on a grand stage. Let him see just how meaningless his words really are, because at the end of the day he can’t change what we are. A group that time and time again has looked into the face of bigotry, laughed, and continued to live our lives with a level of excellence that shines through the hateful rhetoric.

  1. Amen to that, Corwin. What a thoughtful and well written piece. You certainly live a life of excellence and you shine.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

    1. So beautiful. I enjoyed the piece..

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  2. Agree. When I went to college 2008-2012 we had everyone speak on campus. Until Trump came to power and many students started getting hurt by the police. We had everyone come to campus and talk. Students knew who was worth listening or talk to.When I said hurt by the police it was not just a scrap. So sad. Missed the days when we could speak ideas and violent behavior didn’t happen because someone or someones felt brut force was ideal for speaking on a college campus.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    1. Yeah. I so agree with you…

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  3. Thank you! Free speech is free speech. Let him speak, and let us go laugh at him.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

    1. I could not of said it better myself.

      Liked by 2 people

      Reply

  4. Yes, let him speak in front of critical thinking university students and staff in order to further expose his hatred and lack of logic. Great piece.!

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  5. This is certainly the spirit of Unity. Unity, you see, is a reflection of freedom; perhaps democracy? And metaphorically, this froliscome and witty piece, “got it all”. T-Talk buddy!

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  6. I agree with you on the speaking. However, I wouldn’t put a dime of my money into his pockets for his cause, and he won’t speak for free.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  7. Ok, well, some of us go to the school of reality ever day. I’m sorry, with all respect, but, I’m white (so to speak..but, part Virginia Native American, noted historical family as “Mulatto”) and we don’t want him to speak. There are reasons for that and one is no different than giving time to an abuser to volley his threats over and as long as he can he will feel more irresponsible for his behavior and it will be your fault.

    I get what you are saying, but, I’m tired of working with your paranoia, which is founded, but, only gets worse because you think you should recognize those that should in the least be ignored and rise to the occasion to prove those wrong. You should not have to prove someone or something like that wrong. He’s wrong.

    By the way, my step grandfather’s name was Richard Spencer, (deceased), and also from North Carolina. I’ve wondered what very distant relation this could be, and I cringe every time I hear about this particular Richard Spencer of the hour. Trust me, they were completely different people.

    No, some of us do not want to let this idiot have a moment, let alone a penny.

    Liked by 4 people

    Reply

  8. The University of Michigan has the right to let him speak or not speak. His ideals are dangerous, quite frankly. Unfortunately, he will have followers stemming from his speech. It could be interesting for him to speak before a room full of psychology students and faculty to get their take on his reasoning. If he does speak, I hope its to an empty audience.

    Does it qualify as free speech if he charges a fee?

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

      1. Thank you so much for this compliment

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Well said my man. I am Michigan Alumni and I agree with you whole-heartedly. We make fools more important than they are with protests that magnify them and wind up amplifying their message. It is more than sufficient to keep an eye on them and keep our hands on the controls.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

  10. Respect his freedom to talk but don’t disrespect yourself by being silent… MICHIGEN or JNU protest is the sole way to ctrl INTOLERANCE and rascism..

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  11. I admire you for your stance on principle and the rides for open communication. However it doesn’t work the opposite way and for that reason I think it will be very unwise to get this person to speak in your institute.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  12. I dont think he deserves a platform. Being speaker at a university is a priveledge that should be earned..to allow idiots the platform merely demeans the university

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  13. How provocative, and I’ll admit it does seem compelling to allow even those whose opinions are judged to be heinous the chance to be heard. It puts me in mind of rebellions begin, or how political ideology shifts – it begins with someone who points out that things aren’t right. We, the oppressed, acknowledge what no one else has dared to voice loud enough. From the recognition thus stems change. What you’re suggesting seems to be almost the reverse, as it is to acknowledge the oppressed opinion instead.

    But as sexy as this argument is I do have reservations. Reputation of the university and validation aside, which are arguments you’ve already refuted, I’m not sure a logical debunking of racist arguments would greatly sway mass opinion. I think people are actually more concerned about what has been threatened closer to home, like their families, and their jobs. It’s those very real fears that racist hate feeds upon. That is what needs to be addressed, not loopholes in the logic of racist rhetoric (although I’m not really sure what you meant by that). Just some thoughts.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  14. New blogger here and first post I read. Brilliantly written

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    1. Yeah very inspiring..

      Like

      Reply

      1. please check out my blog I followed yours!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Yes I will. You too check out my blog

        Like

  15. Well spoken, but sometimes it’s best to keep people like that out of our immediate consciousness cos believe me the more time he gets to speak to an audience the more he wins over followers unknowingly.
    If Hitler could get his people to burn the same Jews they had lived with in peace for a very long time with all his hateful and inciting speech then anything is possible. The less attention he gets the more insignificant he become.

    Liked by 5 people

    Reply

  16. People should have the right to voice their opinions, but others have the right to not listen. Are we supposed to let everyone with dumb ideas have a platform at a university whenever they want? Should flat-earthers have a platform at universities? What about people who believe in Bigfoot or Santa Claus? Some ideas are just not worth taking seriously. We don’t have the time of day to refute every bad idea. That’s why the burden of proof is on those people who are making the claim.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

    1. The ultimate shortcut is to have people base their beliefs on evidence. We need to teach people to think critically at a young age; we need to teach kids from a young age to demand evidence before believing that something is true.

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply

  17. Wow, you must have patience and definitely forgiveness. I could not stand by and listen to him. He does not deserve to be paid for his speeches any more than Trump bring president. Ugh to both of those. Nicely written toe xpress your point of view.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  18. I completely agree with you post. Richard Spencer is also coming to the University of Cincinnati later in 2018, and i believe the best response to a man like this is none at all.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  19. Really brilliant argument, I completely agree with this. A few years ago there was a large protest when Nick Griffin, the then leader of the British Nationalist Party, was set to appear on the BBC, as people were concerned that such hateful views on live television could inflame social tensions. But he was allowed on air and his arguments were revealed to be utterly baseless, hollow, and with no real merit whatsoever. Having seen Richard Spencer in a few short interviews I strongly agree that people like him need to be challenged in an intelligent debate, because his views will fall flat in the face of an educated audience.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  20. I absolutely agree to your post! No point in trying to silence people like him- instead let them speak and then you can clearly show everyone how wrong they are.

    Liked by 3 people

    Reply

  21. Agree with you. Good.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

  22. I think the best way to protest these people is let them come and then let them eat crickets. But if the can fill auditoriums, that seems like a pretty useful thing to know about them, and in that case we’d better have something to say against whatever “arguments” they’re making. Silencing people sure doesn’t seem to work; just lets them fester and recruit in the underground — When Daily Stormer got run off, it didn’t disappear, it just move to a Russian server where it’s less available to our surveillance and more sympathetic to our adversaries and just as able to propagandize its audience as ever. Have to make these people unattractive by demonstrating to others why they should be recognized as unattractive.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: